A barbecue restaurant in Canada openly defied the government lockdown orders and remained operational during the pandemic.
Police authorities arrested Adamson Barbecue owner Adam Skelly on Thursday and dragged him in handcuffs in front of a massive crowd. People gathered to show support for his defiance of the restrictions.
Skelly served customers for two days this week, despite the government mandates on shutting down operations, including a ban on indoor dining for 28 days at a minimum.
Police changed the security locks of the restaurant early Thursday. The authorities also surrounded the restaurant, with dozen horses to prevent the owner and patrons from opening.
However, a massive crowd of lockdown protesters rallied after Skelly.
Toronto police announced to have arrested Skelly at 1 PM, tweeting, “A 33-year-old man was arrested for Attempting to Obstruct Police. He has been taken into custody. More details will follow. Officers remain in the area. We continue to ask for calm.”
Footage shows Skelly was being dragged in handcuffs as the supporters’ yell in anger, “Shame!”
One man even engaged in a physical dispute with the cops and was arrested for assaulting an officer.
CBC reported that Skelly was then charged with 13 offenses. The charges include criminal and non-criminal charges such as intent to obstruct police, trespassing, violating indoor dining rules, operating a business without a license, holding an illegal gathering.
According to city spokesperson Brad Ross, the fine for an individual or officer/director operating without a business license goes up to $25,000.
Skelly was released on $50,000 bail after allegedly detained for more than 30 hours. He claims one of the conditions for his release is not to use social media.
Toronto Police Superintendent Dom Sinopoli defended the arrest, “We have formed a baseline as to how Mr. Skelly chooses to operate. We have now cautioned him up until today that our enforcement will progress, and it did.”
Skelly is expected to appear before a court on January 4.
Meanwhile, the restaurant owner’s supporters launched a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $10,000 to help pay for the legal defense. Just two days after launching, the campaign raised over $225,000.
Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario member Randy Hillier spoke his support of Skelly, saying, “I’m certain that the courts will strike down these unlawful orders.”